Roomba Robot Vacuum Cleaner

This mobile robot for vacuuming floors is a first-generation Roomba, a widely successful domestic robot. On the market beginning in 2002, the Roomba is a product of the firm iRobot, founded in Burlington, Mass., in 1990 by MIT roboticists Colin Angle, Helen Greiner and Rodney Brooks. A team of eight designed the robot, and the basic patent is 6,883,201.
The battery-operated Roomba rolls on wheels and reacts to its environment with the aid of sensors and computer processing. When it bumps into an obstacle or detects an infrared beam, a boundary line it does not cross emitted by a separate “virtual wall” unit, the robot will change direction randomly.
Currently not on view
iRobot Corporation
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
grey (overall color)
metal (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
black (overall color)
overall: 3 in x 13 1/2 in; 7.62 cm x 34.29 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Roger Connor
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Work and Industry: Mechanisms
Industry & Manufacturing
Data Source
National Museum of American History


Seeing that the patent that led to robo vacuums is already fifteen years old makes me realize that I'm no spring chicken. What advancements have been made in robo vacuums since the original 2002 patent?

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